When it comes to lien rights, project type has a big impact on which documents are required and when they need to be sent. There are 5 types of projects: residential, owner-occupied residential, commercial, state/county, and federal.

Identifying your project type sounds simple, but it can be really tough on some of the biggest and most common construction projects like stadiums, hospitals, and airports. Airport construction can be classified as commercial, state/county, or federal depending on the project.

Having trouble with project type on other jobs?


What type of project is this airport?

Let’s play a game! The following scenarios illustrate how airports can fall into different project types.


I am an international airport serving Orlando, FL and the surrounding area. You were hired by a subcontractor to supply drywall for a terminal project. There’s lots of public records about this project, and this information tells you the land is owned by the City of Orlando.

What type of project am I?

You know this is a state/county job for a couple of reasons: the land is owned by the city government, and the job has bidding and project info available online. Public airports are not always owned by the city itself however; they may be owned by that city’s aviation, airport, or port authority.


I am an airport near Wichita Falls, TX that has some commercial flights, but I am also used as an Air Force Base and the land owner is listed as US AFB (United States Air Force Base). You are a paving contractor hired to repave some of my runways.

What type of project am I?

This is a federal project because the runways are owned and operated by a branch of the US military. Construction here would generally be governed by the Miller Act. Federal airport projects should have public information available and are typically owned by the US government or a subsidiary. You have to be careful with these projects though: if you were performing work on the commercial terminal, that could make the project commercial or state/county, depending on who owns and operates that portion of the airport.


I am the international airport that serves the Denver metro area, and I am getting a massive facelift. My terminals are getting some improvements, and a massive hotel is being built on the property, and you were hired to install its plumbing. The hotel is a part of the larger parcel of land owned by the local airport authority, but you know the hotel itself will be owned and operated by a private entity. You never contracted with any public agency, you were hired by the hotel owners directly.

What type of project am I?

Because your contract is with the private owner/operator, and you are only performing work on the hotel itself, this would likely be a commercial job. Jobs that combine elements of commercial and public construction can be tricky to identify, and must be treated on a case by case bases, so be sure to check out our other resources on the topic and consider consulting an attorney before making a final determination.


It can be hard to determine the type of project you worked on, but examining factors like ownership, project funding, and your own customer can help you correctly classify the job. Even then, it can still be complex, which is why Levelset employs a team of researchers to dig up hard-to-find project information so you can be presented with the information to make the best evaluation of your project’s type. If you’d like to learn more about how Levelset can help find information about your projects and help you manage your lien rights, please get in touch. We’d love to chat!